Free time is what we all look forward to after a long day, a week of work or a holiday.
Looking ahead to the next free moment… lunch, after work, Friday night.
Biding your time until you are free to do what you want.
Comparable to looking out through the bars of a cage seeing your freedom from the inside out, waiting to be free, free of obligations, constraints and to move about on your own volition.
Free time feels good, especially the idea of free time.
The anticipation of free time is the energiser.
Once you are free to wander beyond the bars, initially there is a sense of liberation, a softening of your movement, akin to floating. Looking back with a sense of relief and a bounce in your step, because you are now free.
Free to do the things that were out of reach while behind the bars.
Once free, there is often an initial high, once that wears off reality sets in.
What to do with your free time?
Concentration lapses, your mind flitters into… ‘what to do’, ‘I should be doing’, ‘I hate my job’,’ I am lazy’, ‘I am bored’, to existential questions, such as ‘what is the meaning of life’ and ‘what is my purpose’ and ‘ is this all there is’?
Free time can bring great joy, twisting, as swiftly into feelings of frustration when free time experiences are not exactly what you hoped for, resulting in depleted energy and disappointed; the anticipation was far more thrilling than the actual reality.
In other words the looking forward is far more exciting than the free time experience.
Have you ever felt deflated after a weekend or a holiday because you had no recollection of what you did?
Relishing free time is a skill, which requires learning how to use your free time efficiently.
Due to the nature of free time, it is all too easy to drift into activities, such as, watching TV, perusing the Internet, talking on the phone, or texting. These all too often leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled.
The key is to seek out an activity that is not mind numbing but leaves you in a state of euphoria or what I refer to as a soul blowing experience.
The 4 essential requirements to enhancing your free time is having an idea, concentration, to be challenging and ends with a reward
Examples of these activities are, skiing, cooking, reading, writing, sewing, cleaning, swimming, photography, yoga, exercising… whatever floats your boat.
The essential ingredient to enjoying free time is that you are focusing on one activity at a time, not bouncing around. If you are cooking, cook, if you are skiing, ski, reading read, and so on and so forth.
Start with an idea/plan, sustain concentration, there has to be a challenge to it and reap the rewards of what you devoted your precious time to.
With this newfound skill you can look forward to and actually feel rejuvenated from your free time, rather than looking back in dismay.
Learn to enjoy your free time.
Recipe: Free Time Meditation
Take 3 deep breaths
Ask yourself what do I want to do with my free time?
If there is no answer
Take another 3 breaths, repeat
Until something captures you
Do not resort to your default free time habits of turning on the TV, picking up your phone, or checking emails/Facebook.
You might decide to go for a walk… plan the route, maintain concentration, make it challenging and then enjoy the accomplishment of getting there, what ever grabs your fancy.
Enjoy your free time!